2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of Scotland · Clergy Wife · England · Scotland · Spring · Vicarage

Unusual choice of clothing?

Photo by S Migaj on Pexels.com

In one of our recent visits to the city, I came across at least three men wearing skirts on different occasions. I was shocked fascinated. I had never seen anything like it before. I wanted to do a double take but did not want to cause offence. These were not kilts but long pleated flowery skirts. One of my encounters was at a Sainsbury’s supermarket when I saw a wee granny doing a double take at the skirted man who had just walked past her!

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Scotland · Spring · Vicarage

Bank Holiday

Photo by Tom Swinnen on Pexels.com

Here in the UK, Monday was a bank holiday. I didn’t even know about it until late last week. As a lady of leisure, bank holidays don’t mean much to me. Anyway, I have never liked them because when I used to work in Scotland, companies that have a headquarters in London tended to follow the English bank holidays so nothing much got done if it was a bank holiday in England but not in Scotland.

It doesn’t help that the Mhinisteir works on bank holidays. By the way, none of the clergy I know works on bank holidays but I won’t go into that. All I would say is that clergy are entitled to bank holidays so I was aghast to learn from the Mhinisteir that he had received an email from the Bishop’s office on Monday which was a bank holiday! Maybe this is the result of homeworking where people feel entitled to blindly fire off emails when they feel like it.

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Death · England · Funeral · God · Rural · Scotland · Spring · Tears · Vicarage

Ugly Cry

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I rarely answer the vicarage telephone as 99.9% of the phones calls are for the Mhinisteir. One day last week, the Mhinisteir had to be away and because it was his day off I decided to ignore the telephone. The answering machine gets turned off on his days off.

However, one caller in particular was very persistant that I had to get out of bed where I had been resting to check the caller id. The caller id revealed a mobile number. I was convinced that it was a church warden and decided to ignore because they should know by now that it was the Mhinisteir’s day off.

The caller rang again five minutes later and I picked up the phone. It wasn’t the church warden but an unfamiliar voice. The person introduced himself and knew my name. I didn’t recognise that name. My heart was racing because I thought that the Mhinisteir was in some kind of trouble. Thankfully, very quickly the person told me who his parents were and that he was ringing with some sad news. The penny dropped – Mr Bear had passed away. Baby Bear was very sad. I tried my best to comfort him before he rang off.

I am someone who is always on “screensaver” mode meaning I don’t display my emotions very easily. I didn’t know how sad I was until I went to have a shower that evening and ended up having an ugly cry. The first in many years! I was sad that I would not be able to go Mr Bear’s funeral. Mr & Mrs Bear lived on a small Scottish island. I was also sad when I thought of all the good times that we had.

By the time, I came out of the shower. I felt so much better and ended up having a good sleep.

The next day something similar happened. News came via the Mhinisteir of the death of another dear friend! 2 deaths in 2 days was just too much to bear. They were older friends. Being in their late 80s meant that they were nearly half my age but it is still sad when you lose people whom you hold dear. Thankfully, there were no more tears left for another ugly cry. The good news is I am hoping to go to the funeral of this friend. It will be hard but at least it will give me a proper closure.

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Christmas · Christmas cards · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Rural · Scotland · Spring · Vicarage

Christmas Card in March?

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Pexels.com

That is exactly what happened one day in March this year when the postman brought our post. Among the pile was a red envelope with a Christmas themed stamp and a postmark which said 9 December 2021!

Upon opening the envelope, I discovered that it was a Christmas card from our friend in Scotland.

Maybe this is what we call snail mail🤣

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Butcher · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Rural · Scotland · Tears · Vicarage · Winter

A simple jar

Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

Several years ago, after our move to England, I found myself in an emotional turmoil. I found England to be very different. I am sure people who have had to move between countries will empathise with me.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with England or her lovely inhabitants. It was me. I was used to something strikingly different. If you have watched the Scottish drama Shetland, you will get a rough idea of what most of my married life was like on various islands. The joys of being married to a Vicar! To be thrust into a city was a culture shock, to say the least. Everything from finding new friends to getting a certain cut of meat from the butchers was difficult.

I needed to turn a corner and needed to do it fast before life became unbearable. That was when I decided to do something with an empty jam jar (a clean one!) and scraps of paper. Every time I prayed over something, I would also write it down on the scrap piece of paper and put it in the jar. Every Sunday evening, I would go through all the written prayers and remove the ones that have been answered. It was amazing how many scraps of paper I was removing from the jar every week! I was beginning to feel better again as I was reminded through this act that even though I was lonely, God never left me! By the time, we moved yet again, another three times actually, the jam jar got lost and I forgot all about it!

However, since the start of January 2022, I have resurrected this habit and am feeling the better for it!

2022 · Anglican · Archbishop of Canterbury · Archbishop of York · Blogging · Church of England · Church Times · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Parish Church · Parish Life · Parishioners · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage · Winter

ABC is being naughty yet again

Photo by Abdullah Ghatasheh on Pexels.com

It was reported in the most recent Church Times that a new Archbishop’s secretary for appointments has been found. For the uninitiated, the secretary of appointments is the one who manages the process for the appointment of bishops, deans, and other senior posts in the Church of England.

Some people within the Church of England are a little surprised by the appointment as the post which has been vacant for only about 2 months doesn’t seem to have been advertised. Furthermore they are irked by the revelation that it is an internal appointment!

Personally, I find it strange that in the Church of England, clergy have to apply for new positions; something which I am not familiar with because in Scotland the clergy receive what is known as a “call”. Meanwhile administrative positions appear to require no such applications.

I dread that what happens inside the Church mirrors the secular government!

2022 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Mental Health · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Vicarage · Winter

Don’t be selfish!

Photo by Brett Jordan on Pexels.com

In the last few months, I have been noticing several emails in my inbox from a certain sender with the following subject heading ” Go on DM, don’t be selfish!” I was a little shocked when I saw it for the first time but now I just ignore these emails.

These emails are from Twitter. I do have a Twitter account which I was forced to set up when we were still living in the Scottish Highlands. We had some serious issues with our British Telecom phone line and because they were not taking our complaint seriously, someone suggested getting in touch with them via Twitter as that would shame them into taking action. It worked! Since then, my Twitter account has remained dormant.

According to the email from Twitter, it is selfish of me not to be wanting to make “new friends”. How dare they?

In our present climate, mental health is a big issue. Emails with irresponsible subject headings such as this actually have the potential of causing harm to a sufferer.

2021 · Anglican · Birthday · Blogging · Christmas · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Faith · God · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage · Winter

A Birthday Present

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

Recently, I was asked how it feels to have a birthday between Christmas and Hogmanay (In Scotland, it refers to New Year’s Eve). I didn’t know how to answer that question because quite frankly I don’t know otherwise. I have always received one present but nothing unusual there because as a family we never exchange Christmas presents; the ones we buy are for the under privileged.

I do know that in the busyness of Christmas, people tend to forget my birthday. No matter. A friend once texted me a month later as she had totally forgotten!🤣

This question got me thinking and I remember how more than a decade ago on Christmas Day, I found myself in a distressing situation in a foreign country. I remember praying and asking God for a birthday present. I have never asked Him for one before! It was very bold of me but I was desperate. By the way, I did get my “present” a day before my birthday!

After all these many years, I have decided to ask God for another birthday present – better health for a close family member.

I don’t intend on making this a habit but this one will make me very happy.

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · England · Private Eye · Rural · Scotland · Scottish Highlands · Vicarage · Winter

Analogue Phones & Power Cuts

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

When we lived in the Scottish highlands and islands (yes, we’ve had our fair share of island life!), power cuts were common; not just in the winter months but also in the summer months. We had to constantly monitor the weather so that we will not be caught out.

The moment the power goes off, we would quickly unplug the digital phone and plug in the analogue phone which was always on standby. The reason for doing this is because as you probably already know, digital phones don’t work without electricity. Mobile phones too are useless if you don’t get a signal which is another common problem in remote places. However, even if you get a signal in your area, the strong winds can knock down the phone mast!

For this reason, I was miffed to read in the Private Eye (issue no. 1562) that in the year 2025, the analogue phone network is due to be switched off and that the phone lines will move to new digital services that will require electricity to operate! According to Ofcom, customers without power should simply dial 999 on their mobile phones! Educated into imbecility? 😁

2021 · Anglican · Blogging · Church of England · Clergy Wife · Coronavirus · Edinburgh · England · Face Masks · Rural · Scotland · Vicarage · Winter

Is there such a thing as an uneventful holiday?😁

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The last week in November saw us both going away on that much awaited holiday. We have both come back much rested but with the Mhinisteir missing a tooth! More on that later….

Among other things, the Mhinisteir wanted to visit the University library so we decided to have our holiday in that famous city where his alma mater is. We also got to stay in my favourite self catering cottage which was bliss.

For the first time ever, the Mhinisteir was left to enjoy his holidays; there was no emergency. Hallelujah!

Before we left, I landed with a family issue to deal with so I started the holiday with that hanging over my head. Thankfully it was dealt with midway so I was able to enjoy the rest of the holiday.

As we are still unable to visit our own dentist in Edinburgh, the Mhinisteir has been going to a private dentist in the city and so while he was there he had an appointment with the hygienist and so off he went. About an hour later, the Mhinisteir rang me on my mobile to say that one of his tooth was broken during his time with the hygienist and that he has an emergency appointment with the dental surgeon.

Two hours later, the Mhinisteir came back to the cottage with a tooth missing. The dental surgeon had no choice but to remove the offending half tooth. Thankfully it was one of his wisdom tooth.

We were booked to go for a special lunch two days later but I was prepared to cancel our booking because the Mhinisteir looked a sorry state.

Anyway, we did go for that special meal and we had an amazing time. It was so wonderful that we went back there again on the last day of our holiday. The restaurant is called Sticks N Sushi and specialises in Danish/Japanese infusion food. They have some branches across England. I hasten to add that this place is not for the price- conscious. I had the miso soup and nigiri on both occasions and they were both exquisite. The Mhinisteir doesn’t like anything raw so he had a good selection of “sticks” that he ate with rice. He also had the Mio sparkling sake as an aperitif and thoroughly recommends it and their selection of desserts. Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t able to try any of their desserts thanks to my allergy but I was more than happy with my jasmine tea which again was very good.

The only downside was that the staff were not wearing masks and there was very little social distancing between the tables.

Another place that I would thoroughly recommend is a Thai restaurant called Thaikhun; again they have branches across England and a few in Scotland. We have visited them before but it is always for a takeaway. The Mhinisteir loves their food and I can have their pad thai which is non spicy. On this trip, I discovered that there is another dish called street noodles that is also non spicy. In fact, I like it more than their pad thai.